Summer break perfect time to binge on Netflix documentaries

If you’re like me, come July you’ve entirely run out of entertaining things to watch. Scrolling through the annals of Netflix, the picks of quality shows are dwindling. You’ve seen “The Office” in its entirety for the third time in two weeks. The revival of classic installments like “Stranger Things” and “Black Mirror” are a long time away from their next, most enticing season. So, why not learn? Netflix documentaries are the easiest way to learn useless facts to smugfully bring up into conversation to make yourself look smarter. So, what are the best docs currently on Netflix?

“Icarus”– The story that brought down Russian chance to participate in the 2018 Olympics, “Icarus” is the story of one Russian chemist and his trusty American filmmaking sidekick. Recording danger at every turn, the film documents Russia’s attempts to silence the whistleblower in exquisite detail.

Starting with his own experiment, director Bryan Fogel attempts to decipher how athletes do it. While in an enduring cycling tour, Fogel begins by detailing how steroids are used for athletic enhancements. He takes the supplements, by syringe and tablet, and measures his performance.

This authentic testing segways us into his trials with Dr. Grigory Rodchenkov, the Russian whistleblower. The charismatic chemist not only adds an entertaining flair to the show, but provides a captivating protagonist that pulls you into the expose. Not to mention the mysterious deaths of his co-workers, the coverage of Rodchenkov and his trials against the Russian government captivate your heart, soul and mind to constantly examine each second of this doc until the end credits. One of the best on Netflix, “Icarus” is a must watch documentation of a piece of international sports history.

“Evil Genius”– The most recent show to command social media and the internet, not since “Making a Murderer” has a crime drama/documentary done so. It’s not the best documentation on the streaming site, but the storyline is enough to suck you in twofold.

The amount of twists and turns inserted throughout the series is mesmerizing. The characters, the events, all of it, not even Hollywood in its self created glory could make this up.

Marjorie Diehl-Armstrong’s every word is controversy of its own. The way she speaks, what she says and how she looks all provide an alluring element to the series.

However, I will note the narrator’s weird appearance into the show. It felt strange to see the man who dictioned the story be so close to the bone-chilling criminal Marjorie. His entrance of himself was definitely a setback, but didn’t take away too much from the story.

“Evil Genius” is breathtaking. It’s crazy enticing, it’s entertaining and most importantly it’s short. It doesn’t take a week to watch, maybe a weekend at most. It has enough action to keep our short attention spans, and before you know it, it’s over. Simply must watch streaming.

“Manhunt”– This dramatization of the Unabomber’s career as a murderer is nothing short of petrifying. The deep characterization of Theodore Kaczynski’s twisted mind is shown through the back and forth storyline of himself and the FBI’s tribulations to try and catch him. Kaczynski’s beginning, middle and end are well battled by lead FBI investigator Jim Fitzgerald.

Not only does it destroy his life, but after years of debating and deciding on who the real bomber is, it shows and convincing and almost sympathetic view of Kaczynski’s actions. It takes an interesting first person view of why Kaczynski’s fear of the growing technology in the current society showed why he did what he decided was the best way to fight back.

It also ends with a brilliant question. Was he right? Surely his actions were devastating to America, but did his manifesto have a point. The answer is up to you.

“Take Your Pills”- A harrowing tale of the growing pill epidemic in America, mainly Adderall and other attention deficit medications. It interviews several young protagonists, all who debate the moral question of to do, or not to do.

For one interviewee, it’s a decision between whether or not his prescription is worth damaging his body for. Another is a girl who uses it to deal with the pressures of college. The pill bounces all around campus, and is a popular commodity amongst students. Like cocaine in the eighties, students crave the pill to enhance studying and partying simultaneously.

The documentary uncovers what the Adderall, and enhancements like it, really do to the mind and body. Instead of taking a stand for or against, it challenges you to make your own decision. To do, or not to do.

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